Homework for the Holidays: Turning a Sore Subject into Success

Homework over the holidays? Ugh! Here are thoughts and ideas that may help. 

The holidays are quickly approaching. The family calendar is filling up with seasonal chores, community activities, holiday prep and what may now seem like a luxurious amount of time off from school to spend with the family. You’ve been yearning for this time since the end of summer when school re-opened. But homework over the break is getting in the way. This is a sore subject for many families. How can a family reconnect and spend precious time together over the holidays if school assignments are looming? And why would a teacher give projects and other homework assignments  when you are ready to dive into the holidays with family? Continue reading to find out:

1- These assignments often offer opportunities to boost grades, allowing for make-up work and extra credit.

2- Having homework over the holidays help teens develop time-management skills which they’ll need to rely on during college.

3- Holiday work may allow the teacher time to catch up if the class is behind in their curriculum because of extra time spent working on other lessons, rather than trying to race through the second half of the year squeezing in the work that needs to be covered before school lets out for the summer.

4- Continuing to keep the brain in school-mode while at home, limits learning regression. New information taken in before the break remains fresh in your child’s mind. 

How can you build homework time into the holiday break without disrupting family time?

1- Make good use of travel time. Is your family traveling to a vacation spot to mark the holidays or traveling to see family? Have your child bring her school materials along and use the time in the car or the wait time in the airport or train station to complete her work. Hidden downtime can be spent completing some, if not all assignments and it  allows for break-time to be spent with friends or relatives on that special day.

2- Get the work done and out of the way, first thing! Don’t allow for procrastination. Encourage your child to jump on her assignment and get it done at the beginning of the break rather than trying to cram it all in just before heading back to school. Get it done and then enjoy the rest of the break.

3- We all have a time of day when we’re most productive. Is your child a late-night person? Morning person? Use that knowledge to schedule time to complete her work.

4- Bear in mind that while you may be busy with our holiday preparation, your child likely has a lot of downtime. Encourage her to use that downtime to complete assignments. Once done, she can be in full holiday-break mode.

Helping your child to understand the reasons why her teachers give homework over break and come up with a plan for getting those assignments done, will help to make your family holiday time more enjoyable, and there’s nothing more special than family over the holidays!